Jam and Jersualem axed

BBC drops Jennifer Saunders sitcom

The BBC has axed Jennifer Saunders’s sitcom Jam and Jerusalem, ending her 24-year partnership with co-star Dawn French.

When launched in 2006, the West Country sitcom attracted an impressive 6.7million viewers to BBC One, although audience figures soon plummeted. However, ratings showed signs of bouncing back, with last summer’s third series averaging 3.87million, up half a million on the second season.

Pauline McLynn, who played Tip Haddem, wrote on her website: ‘Well, the bad news we all feared and sad it is too – there will be no more m Jam and Jerusalem.

‘It’s a blow, I’ll not lie to you… It breaks my heart that there’ll be no more. I think it’s not a great decision on behalf of the BBC but what do I know, eh?

‘For those of you wondering, it was the BBC's decision not Jen's - she loved writing that series as much as we loved being in it.’

And she urged those who followed her blog to write to the Corporation in protest.

Although the third series had been made as six half-hour episodes, like the preceding seasons, the BBC ran it as three hour-long specials.

The show also starred Joanna Lumley, Sue Johnson and David Mitchell.

When French and Saunders decided to call and end to their sketch series, Jennifer complained ‘They [the BBC] are not making the kind of comedy we used to do - they want populist programmes. There isn't a budget to try more ambitious things.’

Published: 1 Jan 2010

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